New York water mains work unveils 19th century burial vault under Greenwich Village Washington Square Park.
The surprising finding is a feat for archeologists and historians now trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. While conducting upgrading works for the water mains near Waverly Place, the team brought to light a 19th century burial vault. For Alyssa Loorya, the lead archaeologist on site, the finding is at least exciting.
The burial vault still contains skeletal remains, some of which are still encased in coffins bearing metal plates. The metal plates are inscribed with dates and even names of the deceased. From here on, Ms. Loorya plans to dig even further, until the history of the 19th century burial vault is reconstructed in detail. Who are the people buried there is among the questions awaiting for an answer.
New York water mains work unveils 19th century burial vault, measured to be 15 feet wide, 8 feet deep and 20 feet long. New York and Greenwich Village are abundant with history. Washington Square Park has been the scene for numerous archeological findings in recent years.
Now, the 19th century burial vault adds to the historical richness of these landmarks. Washington Square Park used to be a potter’s field following the Revolutionary War. Perhaps this might hold clues as to the identities of the people found in the underground vault.
According to the city’s Department of Design and Construction, the water mains upgrade project will now follow a new construction alignment. It has to be redesigned so that access to the 19th century burial vault is not hampered.
Working on site are anthropologists and archaeologists looking for every available piece of information that they could find in the underground vault near Waverly Place. To keep the underground burial site intact, the Landmarks Preservation Commission also announced that it will be involved in the works.
Photo Credits: tribwpix.wordpress.com
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